Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Security is a Wet Blanket

Joe Carter captures some of the same feelings of ambivalence that I have for the Tea Party movement and calls for a new age of political and governmental inactivity in a post at First Thoughts:

What should I make of the Tea Party movement? For the past year I've pondered that question without ever arriving at a definitive answer. As a conservative I'm leery of populism--even right-wing populism--and fads--especially right-wing fads. I remember how Ross Perot and the Reform Party used to sing some of the same tunes--and I remember where that led (three words: Governor Jesse Ventura). If the Tea Party is some political equivalent of a Perot tribute band, then I think I'll skip this season's concert.

My natural revulsion to political rallies, protest speeches, and vague agendas, also makes me want to keep my distance. Nevertheless, I am sympathetic to opposition to governmental growth and fiscal irresponsibility. And if the Tea Partiers are able to use political rallies, protest speeches, and a vague agenda as spears to gore Leviathan, then more power to them.

But I think the movement is unlikely to succeed, not because of an underlying vice but because of an inherent virtue: an excess of enthusiasm. Rather than a Tea Party, I think we need it's opposite, a Wet Blanket Party--a political movement designed to sap any and all enthusiasm for political and governmental activity.

Count me in. Or don't, whichever requires less activity. If the Wet Blanket Party appellation doesn't catch on, a possible alternative is the "Do Nothings." Sometimes doing nothing can be a real cool hand.